Saturday, May 14, 2016

20.109 Commencement

In three weeks, the MIT class of 2016's Commencement activities will begin. As of two days ago, the Spring 2016 20.109 class came to end. Although we don't receive diplomas or get to dress up in fancy caps and gowns, there exists the same sense of achievement in finishing something that compelled its students to learn and do so much. We wrote protein engineering summaries, gave elevator pitches, created scientific articles from scratch, presented on journal articles, and gave mock-grant proposal presentations. There were long hours and late nights, a bit of sweat (figuratively) and tears (maybe not so figuratively), and tons of Q&A email threads. The teaching stuff was with us every step of the way, whether it was remotely to answer questions that we had about our assignments, or physically in the form of project office hours and the open-door policy.

, thank you for promptly responding to every single one of my 103929 questions about assignments that I had. And for letting me spend an entire 5 hours in your office when I took a late day for my Mod 2 report.

Noreen, thank you for being such an understanding lecturer and working with me when I had that absence in the beginning the semester. And for having my back during TR journal club presentations while I tried to keep my compsure. And for assuaging my concerns about my Mod 2 report (even though you never gave me your preliminary comments on it haha).

Maxine, thank you for being a ray of positivity and knowledge in the lab. You had answers for almost every question we came up with (and quickly Google'd the answers you didn't already know) and helped me with those flow cytometry normalization formulas when I was being a complete Excel rookie.

Diana, thanks for being such a great resource for us. Each of your workshops taught us material that we could not only apply in lab, but for communication in general. Also, your sense of style is cool!

Leona, thank you for bestowing upon us just a piece of your immense knowledge on bioengineering and journal articles. I enjoyed learning about Jeggo and all the effort you put into those sound effects in your lecture slide animations *pow*

Belcher, thank you for being such a cool human being (*casually mention: you worked in the black pearl industry, founded several companies, and are the brain behind the phage-plated electrodes). I am so proud to be your advisee.

Jifa, (he may not see this but) thank you for being such a great help during the times we crashed your lab with our probably-trivial-seeming cathode construction projects. You were always patient and ready to assist at a moment's notice. We almost took for granted all the time that it took for you to discharge and charge each of our coin batteries for 10 hours each..

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